In 2018, CSO Online, a website that publishes news and research about enterprise security, placed Yahoo at the top of its list of biggest data security breaches of the 21st century. The compiled list was produced based on the assessment of security experts, taking into account the level of damages or losses caused by the data breaches. Perhaps you are aware that in 2013 and 2014, Yahoo was hit by cyber-attacks leading to more than 3 billion compromised user accounts. The data breaches severely damaged the reputation of the Internet service company, which is now owned by Verizon Media.
Yahoo’s data breach case tells us that any company, no matter how small or big, can become a victim of various forms of data breaches wherein private, sensitive, and confidential pieces of information fall into the wrong hands. A Data breach could hurt you in a way that you can hardly imagine. In a world where anything can happen in the blink of an eye, companies should reconsider their ways of handling their data, as everything is at stake once this valuable asset is compromised.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that company or business data must be protected not only because of the possibility of data breaches. This means some events or incidents may happen not as a result of one’s malicious or fraudulent action but due to human errors or technical problems such as accidental deletion of email attachments, corruption of files, crashing of applications, or the occurrence of natural disasters.
Fortunately, companies that are pushing innovation have discovered an effective way to safeguard their most important data from the events mentioned above. This is the usage of data backup software. So, how exactly are they taking advantage of this innovative tool?
1. Taking a Proactive Data Security Approach
Cyber-attacks are evolving, which means hackers have been discovering more sophisticated techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in networks and access private and sensitive company information, stealing the information to earn money fraudulently or deleting or tampering it for malicious purposes. Because of this, many companies are using advanced and sophisticated technologies as well to combat these attacks or reduce their impact when they happen.
Data backup solutions are among those technologies. These solutions enable companies to take a proactive approach when it comes to data security. They are now creating copies of their most important documents, files, and data and saving the copies in cloud-based storage systems. This is different from the traditional approach by which backups of data are stored within one’s own infrastructure. The problem with this is that hackers can easily attack this on-site environment, especially if the needed security mechanisms are not in place.
When you use backup software, copies of your data reside in a remote location away from the premises of your organization. Therefore, if a hacker attacks your own network of computers or systems, you will still be able to access backups of your data from a cloud-based storage system. In addition, these data backups are encrypted so you are ensured that no unauthorized individuals can get and use your data.
2. Ensuring Business Continuity
Communication and collaboration via email are very important in the day-to-day operations of companies. If this is impeded, serious problems will arise, negatively affecting one’s relationship with clients, business partners, customers, and employees. What’s great about data backup solutions is that they have been assisting companies in ensuring business continuity.
Many companies are using Microsoft Outlook for email communications and collaborative activities. This popular email client stores data files, which include emails, journals, tasks, calendars, and contacts in two formats – OST and PST.
OST files are data files stored in a Microsoft Outlook offline folder and synchronized with files stored in Microsoft Exchange Server. Thus, users can work on these files even if they are not currently connected to the Internet. On the other hand, PST files are stored on a computer. These files include email items from Outlook and other email platforms. PST files work with other servers except for Microsoft Exchange Server.
However, there are instances where Microsoft Exchange Server is down due to server maintenance, repair activities or serious technical issues like system shutdowns and malware attacks. Because of this, users won’t be able to make their OST files in sync with Microsoft Exchange Server files, share OST files, and send Outlook emails. This is the reason why some data backup solutions include a tool that permits users to convert OST files to PST files. This tool can back up multiple OST files all together in a single operation.
By creating PST backups of their OST files, users can smoothly work on their emails and other related files using other email servers and platforms. The OST to PST converter tool is also designed to fix corrupted OST files, making them accessible again.
3. Automating Backup Strategies
Statistics on corporate data backup cited by Invenio IT revealed that 60% of companies that experience data loss have to close their operations within 6 months. This means many companies don’t have or lack the necessary plans and strategies to back up their business-critical data as a preparation for possible data loss incidents.
One reason for this is the inclination to manual data backup. When back up activities are carried out without automated tools, they will consume much time and effort. For example, your staff has to locate the files that need to be backed up and produce duplicates by doing repeated clicks and keystrokes. Just imagine how exhausting that is.
Innovative companies use enterprise backup software to remove the burdens associated with manual data backups and implement their backup plans and strategies successfully. This software lets them set and configure backup policies from a central console, which are automatically applied during the backup activities. if they have to back up large amounts of data, they will be able to do that very fast, as the software has big data storage and backup capabilities as well.
It can also understand how folders and files contained in storage systems and devices are structured, identifying those that need to be backed up according to the criteria set by users like date and file type. The software can perform full, differential, or incremental backups without human intervention.
4. Ensuring Compliance with Laws & Regulations
The best backup software available in the SaaS market makes it easy for companies to comply with laws and regulations related to data protection, privacy, and security such as GDPR, HIPAA, and Sarbanes-Oxley.
For example, GDPR Article 17 mandates companies to delete the personally identifiable information of their EU and EEA customers from their system upon that latter’s request.
This can be easily done through the aid of data tracking features included in the software. The software enables users to tag personally identifiable information so that they can locate and wipe it from their backups with ease.
5. Enhancing Collaborations
Companies are able to enhance collaborations as they leverage the capabilities of data backup solutions. With these tools, they are producing duplicates of their documents, files, and data not only for security and for disaster recovery purposes. They are also creating backups so that they can track how their documents, files, and data change over a span of time.
As mentioned earlier, data backup software can automatically perform an incremental backup. However, what is an incremental backup, anyway? This is a flexible type of backup procedure in which only those documents, files, and data that have been changed since the last backup (full back up or differential backup) will be backed up.
For instance, if you have a folder that contains multiple documents. It is possible that only a few of those documents were edited since the last time you did a backup. Instead of backing up all the documents in the folder, incremental backup enables you to back up only the edited documents.
A data backup software, therefore, allows you to come up with multiple versions of the same documents or files and keep track of changes made in each version and the individuals who made those changes. If the newer versions of documents or files are not acceptable, collaborators can restore older document versions from backups. This is very useful for users who are working on product development or marketing projects, permitting them to determine which document or file versions are more effective.
Embracing A Holistic Approach To Data Backup
Backing up your business-critical data means you are preparing for events or incidents that may happen in the future, which can put such data at risk if not resolved or mitigated. Innovative companies know that they have to implement better data backup strategies, which are powered by technology.
They are using backup software solutions that simplify how they protect their data from cyber-attacks and technical issues. Indeed, these tools are amazing because companies have learned to leverage them not only for improving data security but also for revolutionizing their compliance and collaborative processes – making their backup strategies holistic.